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The article is written by Rebecca Todesco

It’s winter and nothing sounds better than snuggling in with a bunch of pals with some popcorn and a movie. We’re a long way from Hollywood but we do make our fair share of quality films Down Under.
There’s a long list of Australian movies and if we were to sit here and go through them all we would be here for longer than we want. So instead I’ve got a list of my favourites (don’t worry: no spoilers are included).


Gallipoli (1981):

IMDB: 7.5
Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Gallipoli is a war drama that follows two young sprinters after they enlist during World War I.

Although not entirely historically accurate, the film does provide some insight into the events surrounding the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli.

Some may argue that the film has a slow start, but I urge you to stick with it: you won’t regret it.


The Babadook (2014):

IMDB rating: 6.8
Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes
This psychological thriller follows the story of an exhausted widow as she tries to raise her six-year-old son alone.

While she’s busy convincing her son there are no monsters in the house she becomes aware of a sinister presence, seemingly stemming from a mysterious book her son finds.

The Babadook has just enough suspense and jump scares to keep you wide awake and glued to your screen (and have you checking under your bed before you go to sleep).


Muriel’s Wedding (1994):

IMDB rating: 7.2
Running time: 1 hour, 46 minutes

Most little girls dream of getting married and what their wedding day will be like but few will go as far as the daggy and slightly desperate Muriel Heslop to make it happen.

Muriel will stop at nothing to get what she wants and, accompanied by a cracking soundtrack, she’ll learn a bit about friendship and herself along the way.

Get together with a few of your girls and have a good laugh at Muriel’s antics throughout this feel-good comedy. You’ll be saying “you’re terrible, Muriel” in no time!


The Castle (1997):
IMDB rating: 7.7
Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

When an Aussie family, the Kerrigans, are told they need to sell their house and leave, they decide to take on city hall to keep their home.

They team up with a loveable bunch of neighbours and a shoddy lawyer in court in the battle of a century to protect their castle.

The Castle is a wholesome family movie and well worth the watch.


Australia (2008):

IMDB rating: 6.6

Running time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

What could be more Australian than Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman together in the Australian desert?

The main thing I took away from this movie was the beautiful shots of the Australian scenery: it’s enough to convince anyone to tour the country.

Australia is set before World War II and sees a British aristocrat move to Australia when she inherits a ranch. There’s plenty happening in the movie to keep you entertained, including an agreement with a stockman and the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese forces.

Take a deep breath, grab some food and make sure you hit the toilet before starting this movie: it’s a long one.


Crocodile Dundee (1986):
IMDB rating: 6.5
Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

An American reporter travels to the Australian outback to meet a famous crocodile hunter and comes face to face with the most stereotypical, over the top Aussie bloke that ever existed.

When she invites him back to New York with her you’re in for plenty of entertainment.

If nothing else, this film beautifully showcases some of Australia’s spectacular scenery.

In all of my travels, this was the movie most people spoke to me about when they found out I was Australian.


Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975):
IMDB rating: 7.6
Running time: 1 hour, 55 minutes

A school trip to Hanging Rock by an elite girls school goes horribly wrong when three students and a teacher vanish without a trace.

The remaining classmates are haunted by the events surrounding their missing peers, especially as time goes by and new information comes to light.

The school and the town begin to unravel in the subsequent weeks as searches for the missing girls continue.

Although the events depicted in the film are false, the author of the original book was deliberately cryptic about whether the events actually took place.

If you’re left wanting more, there is a television series which aired in May 2018 on Foxtel’s Showcase based on the book and film. Or if you’re in Victoria, you can make the journey to Hanging Rock yourself. Just make sure you don’t stray too far from your group.


Strictly Ballroom (1992):

IMDB rating: 7.2
Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes

Strictly Ballroom follows Scott, a ballroom dancer, as he fights to dance his own personal way in competition.
Just when it looks like Scott is out of luck an unlikely hero swoops in to help Scott two-step his way to his dream.

With enough fake tan, glitter and flashy dance routines to make everyone happy, Strictly Ballroom will have you hurrying to the nearest phonebook to look up ballroom dancing lessons.


Wolf Creek (1995):

IMDB rating: 6.3
Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

What do you get when you cross three backpackers stranded in the outback with a deranged and sadistic local? A whole lot of terror!


The film is not for the faint hearted and includes a healthy dose of torture, screams and scares.

I wouldn’t recommend watching this before embarking on any hitchhiking or backpacking tours of the country because there’s a good chance you’ll be permanently scared off the idea.


The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994):

IMDB rating: 7.5

Running time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

A Sydney-based drag queen is set to perform at a casino in a rural town in Central Australia. He manages to rope his friends – a fellow drag performer and a transgender woman – into accompanying him and the three set out on a road trip.

Their journey is not without its complications but the film itself is chock-full of fantastic music and brilliant costumes.

And who exactly is Priscilla? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out that one.

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